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Your pregnancy update: Week 33

Welcome back, mom-to-be! Let's find out what you might expect this week.

How is your body changing?

Even if you've been pretty comfortable, you may be noticing more late pregnancy discomforts, including:

Braxton Hicks contractions. These false labor contractions are irregular and unpredictable, but they do tend to ramp up as baby's birthday draws near. Think of it as your body's way of practicing for real labor.

Trouble sleeping. When you're this far along, it can be tough to get comfy in bed. Try not to stress over it—that may just make it worse. Make your bedroom a relaxing space—with plenty of pillows to prop yourself up with. And rest during the day when you can.

Leg and feet swelling. To get relief, try to limit how much standing you do and prop your feet up when sitting. Perhaps you can keep a footrest at the ready at home and work.

Pelvic pressure and pain. As the big day gets closer, baby drops down lower into your pelvis. This is called "settling." The good news? It takes some pressure off of your diaphragm and lungs, but it puts more pressure on your pelvis, bladder (hello, bathroom breaks) and hips. Again, staying off your feet can help. You might also try soaking in a warm—not hot—bath.

Timely tips and to-dos

Do you have baby's car seat at the ready? You'll need to have it secured in your car to take your precious cargo home from the hospital. If you don't already have one, now's the time, mom-to-be. You don't want to be caught without one if you go into early labor.

Knowing what to look for in a car seat can be tricky, so see what the experts say. If you have questions about installation, you can head to your nearest inspection site. Specialists can ensure yours is installed properly.

Sources: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American Pregnancy Association

Reviewed 1/23/2024

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